US20060204623A1 - Nutritional small animal treat - Google Patents

Nutritional small animal treat Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060204623A1
US20060204623A1 US11/299,459 US29945905A US2006204623A1 US 20060204623 A1 US20060204623 A1 US 20060204623A1 US 29945905 A US29945905 A US 29945905A US 2006204623 A1 US2006204623 A1 US 2006204623A1
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Prior art keywords
pet treat
blend
treat
weight
inclusions
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Abandoned
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US11/299,459
Inventor
Mark Levin
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Sergeant's Pet Care Products Inc
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Sergeant's Pet Care Products Inc
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Priority to US66082105P priority Critical
Application filed by Sergeant's Pet Care Products Inc filed Critical Sergeant's Pet Care Products Inc
Priority to US11/299,459 priority patent/US20060204623A1/en
Assigned to SERGEANT'S PET CARE PRODUCTS reassignment SERGEANT'S PET CARE PRODUCTS ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: LEVIN, MARK
Publication of US20060204623A1 publication Critical patent/US20060204623A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; THEIR TREATMENT, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23KFODDER
    • A23K10/00Animal feeding-stuffs
    • A23K10/30Animal feeding-stuffs from material of plant origin, e.g. roots, seeds or hay; from material of fungal origin, e.g. mushrooms
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; THEIR TREATMENT, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23KFODDER
    • A23K40/00Shaping or working-up of animal feeding-stuffs
    • A23K40/20Shaping or working-up of animal feeding-stuffs by moulding, e.g. making cakes or briquettes
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; THEIR TREATMENT, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23KFODDER
    • A23K40/00Shaping or working-up of animal feeding-stuffs
    • A23K40/25Shaping or working-up of animal feeding-stuffs by extrusion
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; THEIR TREATMENT, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23KFODDER
    • A23K50/00Feeding-stuffs specially adapted for particular animals
    • A23K50/40Feeding-stuffs specially adapted for particular animals for carnivorous animals, e.g. cats or dogs
    • A23K50/42Dry feed
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; THEIR TREATMENT, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23KFODDER
    • A23K50/00Feeding-stuffs specially adapted for particular animals
    • A23K50/50Feeding-stuffs specially adapted for particular animals for rodents
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; THEIR TREATMENT, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23KFODDER
    • A23K50/00Feeding-stuffs specially adapted for particular animals
    • A23K50/70Feeding-stuffs specially adapted for particular animals for birds

Abstract

The present invention relates to a pet treat composition for small animals. In particular, the present invention relates to a pet treat comprising a polymeric material and inclusions. The inclusions are selected from the group consisting of an oil seed blend, a grain blend, a forage crop blend, and mixtures thereof.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims priority from Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/660,821 filed on Mar. 11, 2005, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to a pet treat for a small animal having inclusions, whereby the inclusions preferably enhance both the nutritional value and palatability of the treat. In particular, the pet treat is formed from a substrate material and any of a variety of inclusions including oil seed, forage crop, cereal grains, or any combination thereof.
  • BACKGROUND OF INVENTION
  • Generally, pet owners purchase small animal pet treats to occupy an animal. Most small animal pet treats include seeds that are agglomerated into granola bars. In particular, these pet treats are food-like products, which may have some nutritional value.
  • Of the known compositions for use in small animal treats and chews, most are made from seed blends “glued” together with sugar, starch, or fat, and formed into shapes. Typically, these small animal treats and chews dissolve in moist environments. Furthermore, the known compositions are consumed relatively quickly and do not help satisfy the gnawing desires of small animals. Many known small animal treat compositions made from sugar or starch crumble when consumed by an animal. Other known small animal treat compositions made using fats to agglomerate seed blends cannot be used in warm environments as the treats readily melt. As such, a need exists for a long lasting small animal treat that does not readily degrade in water, melts under heat, or crumble and satisfies the gnawing desires of small animals.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to a nutritional small animal treat formed from a polymeric material and inclusions. One particular interaction of the invention includes protein polymer and seed inclusions. Advantageously, the small animal treat exhibits ductility, does not melt, and does not dissolve in humid or wet environments. In addition, the small animal treat is long lasting while providing some nutritional value to the consuming animal. For example, the polymeric material may include protein polymers derived from wheat protein. Available inclusions enhance both the nutritional value and palatability of the treat. Examples of suitable inclusions are oil seeds, grain, forage crop, or combinations thereof. As such, a treat is developed that is specifically formulated for small companion animals.
  • The pet treat is formed from an amount of a polymeric material that when cured is ductile. The treat further has inclusions. Preferably, the inclusions are an oil seed blend and/or grain blend which includes brassica, castor, groundnut, canola, flaxseed, niger, safflower, sesame, soybean, rapeseed, cotton, peanuts, sunflower, rice, corn, wheat, milo, millet, and mixtures thereof. In other embodiments, the inclusions are a forage crop blend that includes alfalfa, alsike clover, birdsfoot trefoil, crownvetch, hairy vetch, ladino clover, Korean lespedeza, red clover, sweet clover, white dutch clover, orchardgrass, tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, timothy, reed canarygrass, smooth bromegrass, big bluestem, switchgrass, indiangrass, sorghum X sudan, and sudangrass. Alternatively, a birdseed can be used. Suitable birdseeds include millet, canary grass, flax seed, oat groats, corn gluten mean, stone ground corn, ground soybean, brewers rice, and blends thereof.
  • The pet treat may be formulated for ferrets, chinchillas, squirrels, hedgehogs, guinea pigs, prairie dogs, rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, mice, and rats. In addition, the pet treat of the present invention may be formed by any method generally known in the art, such as injection molding or extrusion.
  • Other aspects and features of the invention are described in more detail below.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • A nutritional pet treat product formed from a polymeric material and an inclusion component has been discovered. The inclusion preferably imparts both nutritional value and is palatable. Also, the inclusion should be such that a companion animal can consume it. The small animal treat is such that it does not readily crumble, tear, melt under hot environments, or fall apart in humid conditions. Advantageously, depending upon the formulation of the inclusion, the pet treat is suitable for a variety of companion animals and, in particular, for small companion animals, such as birds, chinchillas, squirrels, hedgehogs, guinea pigs, prairie dogs, rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, mice, rats, and ferrets.
  • The polymeric material should be edible and digestible, and does not readily degrade in water, nor melt in hot environments. The polymeric material should also be capable of being formed into a desired finished shape. This can be accomplished through injection molding, an extrusion process, or a co-extrusion process. Additionally, the polymeric material is such that it readily retains and holds various inclusions.
  • Suitable polymeric materials for use in forming the pet treat can be selected from protein, starch, synthetic materials, and combinations thereof. Such polymers are, typically, readily digestible by an animal. Polymers high in protein are preferred for use because protein does not readily breakdown, soften, or dissolve in water. The protein polymers may be derived from protein fractions found in wheat, soy, corn, barley, and other types of seeds, vegetables, or plants. Preferably the protein polymer is derived from wheat protein. Although there are a variety of starch types and sources for starch, a preferred starch is one that is not chemically modified and contains significant levels of amylopectin. A preferred source of starch may be selected from the group consisting of wheat, tapioca, corn, rice, maize, potato, other plant starches, or blends thereof. Also, carbohydrates, other than starches, may be used. It should be noted that chemical and physical modifications of the polymer or polymer base could improve ductile characteristics. In addition, a single or multiple polymer may be used.
  • The resultant pet treat is formed of between about 40% and about 95% by weight polymeric material, more preferably between about 55% and about 90% by weight. Polymeric material means the polymer or polymers that form the treat, as well as the additives, except the inclusion components. Preferably, the pet treat will have a water activity level equal to or less than 0.9, and a moisture content equal to or less than 25% by weight. Generally speaking, the pet treat has a nutritional composition comprising a protein content from about 25% to about 40% by weight, a fat content from about 1% to about 8% by weight, a fiber content from about 5% to about 10% by weight, and a moisture content of from about 8% to about 15% by weight.
  • In order to ensure that the polymeric material has sufficient ductility, it is often required to add a softener/plasticizer/constituent. A preferred plasticizer is a humectant that binds water, such as propylene glycol, glycerin, sorbitol, mannitol, and mixtures thereof. Any of a variety of other plasticizers, however, may be used, as long as the resultant polymeric material has the above-mentioned characteristics. Typically, the plasticizer constituent will be added to the polymeric material in an amount equal to between about 10% and 65% by weight of the polymeric material. This amount may vary, however, dependent upon the particular polymeric material, the particular plasticizer, and the desired finished characteristics of the treat. As before, it is preferred if the plasticizer is readily digestible by the animal, or passes through the animal with no ill side effects.
  • A variety of different materials may be used as inclusion components found in the pet treat. The inclusions preferably impart both nutritional value and palatability to the pet treat. Typically, the inclusion components will be ground or processed into fine particles. The components include oil seed and forage crop blends or mixtures of both.
  • The oil seed and grains include brassica, castor, groundnut, canola, flaxseed, niger, safflower, sesame, soybean, rapeseed, cotton, peanuts, sunflower, wheat, rice, corn, millet, milo, sorghum, rye, barley, and mixtures thereof.
  • Forage crop inclusions may also be used, such as a legume. Examples of legume forage crops suitable for use in the invention include alfalfa, alsike clover, birdsfoot trefoil, crownvetch, hairy vetch, ladino clover, Korean lespedeza, red clover, sweet clover, and white dutch clover. In a further embodiment, the forage crop is a grass. Suitable examples of forage crop grasses include orchardgrass, tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, timothy, reed canarygrass, smooth bromegrass, big bluestem, switchgrass, indiangrass, sorghum X sudan, and sudangrass. Other available inclusions are whole and ground cereal crop seeds. Suitable cereal crop seeds include oat groats, corn gluten meal, stone ground corn, ground soybeans, brewers rice, ground wheat, ground oats, dried cane molasses, rye, barley, sorghum and millet. Further, the inclusion may include a forage crop and ground cereal crop. In the alternative, the inclusion may include an oil seed blend and a ground cereal crop. In an additional embodiment, the inclusion may comprise an oil seed blend, a forage crop blend and a ground cereal crop.
  • Preferably, the inclusion will be a mixture of oil seeds, forage crop and ground cereal crop to form a birdseed formulation. Typically, the birdseed formulation will comprise millet, canary grass, flax seed, oat groats, corn gluten meal, stone ground corn, ground soybean and brewers rice. Another group of inclusions include a mixture of a forage crop and a ground cereal crop blend, the specific group of crops include alfalfa, oat groats, ground wheat, ground soybean, ground corn, and dried cane molasses.
  • The inclusion components may be added in an amount equal to between about 5% and about 60% by weight of the polymeric substrate material. The inclusion components are more preferably added in an amount equal to between about 10% and about 45% by weight of the polymeric substrate material. Even more preferably, the inclusion components are added in an amount equal to between about 15% and about 35% by weight of the polymeric substrate material.
  • Optionally, various mineral powders may be used with the present invention. The mineral powders also include dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, slat, yucca shidigera extract, vitamin A supplement, choline chloride, DL-methionine, ferrous carbonate, manganous oxide, zinc oxide, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, ethoxyquin, copper sulfate, niacin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, cholecalciferol, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, calcium iodate, biotin, cobalt carbonate, sodium selenite, and/or folic acid. The pet treat may further include a fermentation additive, natural flavor, or an artificial color.
  • The pet treat of the present invention may be formed in accordance with several suitable methods known in the art. Typically, there are two preferred processes for melting the polymeric material and shaping it, depending on the desired shape and appearance. Injection molding is used for a more three-dimensional shape, while extrusion is used two-dimensional shape. Such injection-molded shapes include bone-shaped, pet treat-shaped and toy-shaped structures, and those shapes made by extrusion processes, which include sticks, strips, cookie-type shapes, bar-type shapes, and multi-textured, colored, or flavored shapes. Generally, the temperature for melting the starch or protein polymeric material will range between 140° F. and 210° F. For polymeric materials high in protein, it is desired to thermally denature the protein after shaping. This can be accomplished by direct heating or indirect heating. Examples of direct heating include, but are not limited to, heating with hot air, steam, or ionized energy. Examples of indirect heating include heating though heat exchangers, or other heating operations. Other methods for thermally denaturing the protein include dipping the treat in hot oil or boiling water. Preferably, the pet treats are cured after shaping by extrusion. This includes thermal setting the treat and drying it. An alternative to extruding the treats is to shape the treats by injection molding the polymeric material. The pet treat may be shaped into any shape that is desirable to a small companion animal. Suitable shapes include bone, stick, flower, nut, disc, and strip shaped, among others. In addition, the size of the treat will vary depending on the size of the small companion animal for which it is intended.
  • The pet treats of the present invention may be formulated to meet the nutritional and palatability requirements for several varieties of companion animals, and in particular, small companion animals. In one example, when the pet treat comprises inclusions selected from a mixture of oil seed blend, grain blend, and whole or ground cereal crop seed, the pet treat may be for a pet selected from the group consisting of birds, gerbils, hamsters, mice, rats, prairie dog, guinea pigs, squirrels, and ferrets. In another example, when the pet treat comprises inclusions made from a forage crop and ground cereal crop seed, the pet treat may be for a pet selected from the group consisting of ferrets, chinchillas, squirrels, hedgehogs, guinea pigs, prairie dogs, and rabbits.
  • DEFINITIONS
  • The term birdseed as used herein refers to any food or food additive or material that a bird or rodent will typically eat. Representative types of birdseed include sunflower seeds, millet, barley, oats, wheat, corn, peanuts, thistle seed, sorghum, sudan grass seed, watergrass seed, and clover seed.
  • The term cereal crop seed as used herein include members of the grass family grown for their edible, starchy seeds. Examples of cereal crop seeds include wheat, barley, oats, rice, rye and corn. Typically, cereal crop seeds have less than about 2% by weight oil content in their seeds.
  • Ductility is defined as a cohesive material whose shape can be modified under force or after being stretched, and has a propensity to return to its original shape, while also showing resistance to fracturing.
  • The term forage crop as used herein refers to a plant that is grown to feed livestock such as legumes, grass, clover and kale. Typically, forage crops have a higher fiber content compared to fat or starch.
  • The term oil seed crop as used herein refers to crops grown primarily for the oil contained in their seed. Typically, oil seed crops will have an oil content in their seeds ranging from about 10% to about 50%.
  • A polymeric material is a composition that includes at least one polymer, and may include additional additives. Polymeric material, polymers, and substrate material will be used interchangeably throughout the present application. A polymer is a long molecule consisting of monomers strung together through chemical bonds.
  • The following examples are for illustrative purposes only and are not to be construed as limiting the scope of the subject invention.
  • EXAMPLES Example 1
  • A polymeric blend was extruded into an animal treat. It was desired to develop a formula that was ductile in nature and could hold inclusions. A suitable protein polymer was developed and is of the dry formula listed below:
    Constituent % By Weight
    Wheat Protein 95.31
    Cellulose Powder 2.49
    Mono and Diglycerides 1.40
    Magnesium Stearate 0.80
  • A liquid mixture was then added to the above dry constituents. The liquid mixture was a plasticizer comprising 23 lbs. of propylene glycol, and 2.52 lbs. of water. The wheat gluten is a protein polymeric material. The powder is a processing aid. The glycerol compounds were added as plasticizers to increase ductility of the product.
  • The pellets formulated according to the above formula were extruded into an animal treat. The treat was extruded using known procedures recited herein. It was observed that an excellent animal treat was produced. In particular, the treat was edible and ductile, and did not readily degrade in water.
  • Example 2
  • A treat of the invention was made formulated for small pets such as hamsters, gerbils and rodents. The polymeric material included a wheat protein based polymer and the inclusion included a birdseed blend. In particular, the formulation included the polymer of Example 1 and a seed blend comprising: millet, canary grass seed, oat groats, flax seed, corn gluten meal, stone ground corn, ground soybean, brewers rice, calcium carbonate, wheat, dicalcium phosphate, sugar, salt, corn oil, alfalfa meal, brewers yeast, wheat germ meal, vitamin A supplement, choline chloride, L-lysine, ferrous carbonate, vitamin B 12 supplement, vitamin E supplement, zinc oxide, DL-methionine, niacin, riboflavin supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, cholecalciferol (source of vitamin D3), copper oxide, calcium pantothenate, thiamin mononitrate, folic acid. In addition, the formulation included glycerin, water, monoglycerides, cellulose, magnesium stearate.
  • The resulting pet treat was found to have a nutritional value comprising:
    Crude Protein (min) 33%
    Crude Fat (min) 4%
    Crude Fiber (max) 8%
    Moisture (max) 12%
  • Hamsters, gerbils and rodents were observed to eagerly consume the treat.
  • Example 3
  • A treat of the invention was formulated for small pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs. The polymeric material included a wheat protein based polymer and the inclusion included an alfalfa-based forage and cereal crop seed blend. In particular, the formulation included the polymer of Example 1 and alfalfa pellets comprising: dehydrated alfalfa, oat groats, wheat, ground soybean, ground wheat, stone ground corn, dried cane molasses, dicalcium phosphate, corn oil, calcium carbonate, salt, yucca, vitamin A supplement, choline chloride, DL-methionine, ferrous carbonate, manganous oxide, zinc oxide, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B 12 supplement, vitamin E supplement, copper sulfate, niacin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, cholecalciferol (source of vitamin D3), calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamin mononitrate, calcium iodate, biotin, folic acid. In addition the pet treat included glycerin, water, monoglycerides, cellulose, magnesium stearate.
  • The resulting pet treat was found to have a nutritional value comprising:
    Crude Protein (min) 33%
    Crude Fat (min) 4%
    Crude Fiber (max) 8%
    Moisture (max) 12%
  • Rabbits and guinea pigs were observed to eagerly consume the treat.
  • The resulting pet treats developed according to the present invention had superior qualities and characteristics. Additionally, the mixtures suitably held inclusions.
  • It is apparent to those skilled in the art, however, that many changes, variations, modifications, and other uses and applications for the animal treats are possible, and also such changes, variations, modifications, and other uses and applications which do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention are deemed to be covered by the invention, which is limited only by the claims which follow.

Claims (23)

1. A pet treat for small animals comprising:
(a) an amount of a polymeric material, wherein the polymeric material is ductile; and,
(b) inclusions selected from the group consisting of an oil seed blend, a grain blend, a forage crop blend, and mixtures thereof.
2. The pet treat of claim 1, wherein the polymeric material is selected from the group consisting of protein based polymers, starch based polymers, synthetic polymers, and combinations thereof.
3. The pet treat of claim 2, wherein the inclusions further comprises a ground cereal crop seed.
4. The pet treat of claim 1, wherein the inclusions are a mixture of oil seed blend and grain blend selected from the group consisting of brassica, castor, groundnut, canola, flaxseed, niger, safflower, sesame, soybean, rapeseed, cotton, peanuts, sunflower, wheat, rice, corn, millet, milo, sorghum, rye, barley, and mixtures thereof.
5. The pet treat of claim 1, wherein the inclusions comprise a mixture of oil seeds, forage crop, and ground cereal crop.
6. The pet treat of claim 5, wherein the inclusions further comprises a whole or ground cereal crop seed.
7. The pet treat of claim 6, wherein the inclusions are selected from the group consisting of comprises millet, canary grass, flax seed, oat groats, corn gluten meal, stone ground corn, ground soybean, brewers rice, and combinations thereof.
8. The pet treat of claim 2, wherein the inclusions are a forage crop blend selected from the group consisting of alfalfa, alsike clover, birdsfoot trefoil, crownvetch, hairy vetch, ladino clover, Korean lespedeza, red clover, sweet clover, white dutch clover, orchardgrass, tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, timothy, reed canarygrass, smooth bromegrass, big bluestem, switchgrass, indiangrass, sorghum X sudan, and sudangrass.
9. The pet treat of claim 8, wherein the inclusions further comprises a ground cereal crop seed.
10. The pet treat of claim 9, wherein the inclusions is a forage crop and a ground cereal crop blend selected from the group alfalfa, oat groats, ground wheat, ground soybean, and ground corn.
11. The pet treat of claim 2, wherein said protein based polymer is derived from wheat, soy, corn, barley, and combinations thereof.
12. The pet treat of claim 2, wherein said starch based polymer is derived from wheat, rice, tapioca, potato, corn, maize, and combinations thereof.
13. The pet treat of claim 2, wherein said protein polymer has a water activity equal to less than 0.9.
14. The pet treat of claim 1, wherein said polymeric material includes a humectant.
15. The pet treat of claim 1, wherein said treat is extruded, rotary molded, sheeted, or injection molded.
16. The pet treat of claim 1, wherein said treat has a total moisture content equal to less than 25% by weight.
17. The pet treat of claim 1, wherein said polymeric material is edible, digestible, and does not dissolve in humid or wet environments.
18. The pet treat of claim 1, wherein the oil seed blend, cereal crop seed blend, or forage crop blend component is added in an amount ranging between 5% and 60% by weight of the polymeric material.
19. The pet treat of claim 18, wherein the oil seed blend, cereal crop seed blend, or forage crop blend component is added in an amount ranging between 15% and 35% by weight of the polymeric material.
20. The pet treat of claim 1, wherein the polymeric material is equal to between 50% and 95% by weight of said treat.
21. The pet treat of claim 1, wherein the pet treat has a nutritional composition comprising a protein content from about 25% to about 40% by weight, a fat content from about 1% to about 8% by weight, a fiber content from about 5% to about 10% by weight, and a moisture content of from about 8% to about 15% by weight.
22. A pet treat for small animals comprising:
(a) a wheat protein; and,
(b) inclusions selected from the group consisting of an oil seed blend, a grain blend, a forage crop blend, and mixtures thereof.
23. A pet treat for small animals, the pet treat comprising a wheat protein content from about 25% to about 40% by weight, a fat content from about 1% to about 8% by weight, a fiber content from about 5% to about 10% by weight, and a moisture content of from about 8% to about 15% by weight.
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US9661830B2 (en) 2012-04-17 2017-05-30 Big Heart Pet, Inc. Appetizing and dentally efficacious animal chews
US9737053B2 (en) 2012-04-17 2017-08-22 Big Heart Pet, Inc. Methods for making appetizing and dentally efficacious animal chews
US10104903B2 (en) 2009-07-31 2018-10-23 Mars, Incorporated Animal food and its appearance

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US9737053B2 (en) 2012-04-17 2017-08-22 Big Heart Pet, Inc. Methods for making appetizing and dentally efficacious animal chews

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